How did Google get so big? The answer to this question is undoubtedly due to the advantage conferred by its PageRank algorithm. However, Google is not the only one to have a clever algorithm like this, more and more have been developed (Amazon for example). This means that Google will not continue to benefit from this previous success for much longer, it must look to keep its advantage by doing what it does best, be innovative and understand what the customer wants. In addition to its search engine and associated advertizing revenue, Google has developed other successful applications such as e-mail service with Gmail, mapping systems with Google Maps, and Internet browser Google Chrome and a mobile phone software, Android (now on tablets too). So, what should Google do next?
One of Google’s strategic initiatives is to enhance advertizing through new formats, such as video ads (do what it does well, better). What better way to do that than to acquire YouTube? In addition to this, promotional videos from advertizing companies can be shown before user-requested content, thereby securing a fixed source of revenue. Participatory Video Ads (PVA) such as the Tipp-ex bear video create a lot of buzz and are a good investment from marketing departments. Moreover, Google can keep its Ad words and Ad sense algorithms on the new platform as well as using banner advertising on the search results page. Video recommendations and brand channels (such as the British Royal Family channel and their retransmission of the Royal Wedding) can be further sources or revenue.
Another recent acquisition of Google’s, which can lead to think more applications are coming, is the one of Q&A service Aardvark. Was it too early for them to launch Google Answers? Is the time right now? Certainly, Google seems to think so and I think that we can expect a new and improved version of Google Answers to satisfy more of our curiosity soon. Google’s textbox is, undoubtedly, the most-used question submission form in the world, and most of us can’t even remember whom we would ask these question BG (Before Google). It thus seems natural that Google would develop an application to respond to that need, and even though it has failed before, it does not mean that it is never to be tried again (www.techcrunch.com).
However, the most interesting part of Google’s future will see how it fights against Microsoft to achieve complete web dominance. Microsoft still holds Windows, Internet Explorer and Office, which provides them with multiple advantages. Windows is the default operating system for all non-Apple computers, IE is the dominant web browser, and Office is a never-ending cash cow for the company. This is a big problem for Google, because as of now, it does not control standards for any of the platforms on which this contest will take place. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, is definitely a big threat for Google, and the battle between the two companies will be ruthless. In the past, Microsoft has used the same strategy to undermine or even eliminate its competitors, price-cutting. In contrast, Microsoft’s preys have also made a common mistake, they have all failed to deliver architectures that cover the entire market, potentially enabling them to provide products functioning on various platforms, releasing well-engineered products and create barriers against cloning. Google knows that an architecture war is coming, and soon, and is doing its best to delay this battle in order to better prepare.
In order to counteract Microsoft’s strive for domination, there are certain strategies that Google could put in action. One of them would be to follow Amazon’s model in turning its website into a major platform. Amazon’s proprietary yet open API is the success factor which has led the site to survive, and well. A Google API for Web search services would enable them to become the industry standard. Google is still reliant on Microsoft software, and should thus detach themselves by creating software and services to rival Microsoft’s, a difficult task. However, in competing with Microsoft, Google must make sure that it does not make the same mistakes as its the unlucky predecessors in a battle. (www.technologyreview.com)